Residents Concerned About Unknown Key Elk Grove Casino Opponent

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Elk Grove -- Elk Grove business woman Paula Maita was suspicious about an automated call she got outlining the evils of a $400 million casino/resort complex planned near Grant Line Road.

The casino went to Wednesday's council meeting where opponents out numbered proponents 4 to 1.

"I don't like my neighbors so heavily influenced by an unknown source," said Maita before the council.

Maita said flyers mailed and delivered to homes before the meeting came from an entity called Protect Elk Grove which has a website asking for support from opponents. But phone calls and efforts by news media organizations to identify the operators were unsuccessful.

For those opposed to the project the source of the flyers or "robo" calls was not important because the their concerns over traffic, crime, lost tax revenue and services are real.

Maita says there are legitimate reasons for opposing the casino, but she said she would rather those objections come from residents rather than what she called "outside influences."

The city council has no authority to approve or disapprove of the project since it is largely a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs matter. But the opinions of local residents can be taken into account in a decision.

Of course there is no direct evidence that the campaign does come from outside sources. But even resident Patience Reynolds, who is neutral on the issue, wonders about where the money for the calls and flyers come from.

"Where did this money come from, who's financing it"...even if we don't get to vote on this I still want to know," said Reynolds.

The Wilton Rancheria of Miwok Indians who are spearheading the project called the material that's been distributed as "fear-mongering" and that "dirty" tactics were being used.

“I don’t know who sent the mailer but they should own up to it because it’s false and irresponsible," said Tribal Chief Raymond C. Hitchcock.

Hitchcock told FOX40 that residents have legitimate concerns that they are trying to address by engaging them, but that its difficult to accomplish if some of the opposition remains anonymous.